I should quit assuming most conservative people are capable of logical thought. Maybe they aren’t nice people, maybe they have repugnant views, but at least in the workplace they should keep it to themselves.
Thursday another uncomfortable conversation come up. It started innocently enough when we were talking about the Holman Rule and how people will start getting targeted by the conservative lawmakers. That is when a conservative coworker pushed our Titanic of a conversation directly into an iceberg.
The coworker, let’s call him Dave, may be a member of a church that may rhyme with the initials of LDS. He has always been civil about Wolsey’s transition when he found out. He has never said a bad word and refers to us as spouses without blinking. It became obvious he was annoyed that most of the office doesn’t like Trump, so he voiced what was wrong with Trump?
We gave him the normal responses that don’t need to be repeated about Trump. The conversation for this went as to be expected. He then brought up Pence and I explained that is even worse. Pence is experienced, has allies and can actual make lasting change. He asked why I had such an obvious dislike for the man, and I told him about Pence’s opinion on gay conversion therapy, same sex laws, etc. Dave was pretty supportive of same sex marriage being legal, no gay conversion, etc.
Then I mentioned that Pence is also in favor of trans-bathroom laws. Dave, without stopping for a beat to consider his words, chimed in “I am ok with that”. The whole area got quiet. He looked confused as most of the people walked off. I just walked back to my cubicle so I didn’t say something I would regret.
A few minutes later he IM’ed me over the network and asked if he could clarify that he meant. I already had some tea and had calmed down so I said that would be ok. I knew I would probably regret this, but I figured I should give him a shot. He then went into detail that for the safety of his daughter was what drove him.
It was a ten-minute explanation, with an in-depth discussion on his part about the dangers of children and predators. My first response was to address the fact that no trans person I have heard of has ever molested a child in the bathroom. I tried to explain to him I guarantee women would not want to share a bathroom with a trans guy and I would more worry about the safety of a transwoman in a male bathroom.
He danced around the subject a bit more before I asked if we should have a separate bathroom for GOP congressmen, priests and others like that. He deflected and seemed unable to understand why I didn’t agree with him. He was getting a bit edgy, his daughter was in danger, and he was sure someone might molest her. Then I responded.
“So you are saying that Wolsey should use the ladies bathroom”.
There was silence on the other end for several minutes. It was a deafening silence on the IM screen. I wondered if he even was there or if he had left.
He eventually responded that Wolsey wasn’t the same. He would never have guessed Wolsey was trans, and wasn’t at all offended that Wolsey used a guy’s bathroom. After all, Wolsey looks like a guy. There was nothing wrong with that.
I then gave a tirade of his not only intolerance to all women using the “female” bathrooms but his misogynistic basing what someone can do on their looks. A woman is a woman no matter what she looks like. This doesn’t even address the type of misogyny that only women needed to be protected.
The conversation went back and forth for an hour. Eventually though he had mellowed and said he had to think about it now after we talked. It was probably for the best because my skin was starting to get pretty thin. In fact even now I am so annoyed by that conversation that I don’t really want to go into detail on what he said. It just makes me so angry.
I know I should be happy that he may be thinking about the subject. I understand that sometimes people have to know a minority person to gain an understanding of why something is important, but this subject should be so basic that it doesn’t deserve a conversation. I am starting to not really care about “educating” some of these people and instead just telling them to shut up and just be a human.